26 May 2018

Something Odd Shot in Montana

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Great Falls Tribune:

On May 16 a lone wolf-like animal was shot and killed on a ranch outside Denton. With long grayish fur, a large head and an extended snout, the animal shared many of the same characteristics as a wolf; but its ears were too large, it’s legs and body too short, its fur uncharacteristic of that common to a wolf.

So far, the exact species is a mystery

So what was it? At this point, no one is 100 percent sure.

“We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back,” said Bruce Auchly, information manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “It was near a rancher’s place, it was shot, and our game wardens went to investigate. The whole animal was sent to our lab in Bozeman. That’s the last I ever heard of it.”

Social media from around the Lewistown area was buzzing last week; with many people chiming in on what they believed the creature to be.

Grizzly cub? Dogman? Dire wolf? Or what?

“That’s a grizzly cub,” one commentator wrote. “Under a year and starving from the look.”

“Maybe a dire wolf,” wrote another, “because I don’t believe they are all gone.”

Speculation roamed as far as identifying that animal as a crypto-canid species said to roam the forests of North America.


8 Feedbacks on "Something Odd Shot in Montana"

ed in texas

Saw this a few days ago through a different link. They went went a long way to try to lay it off on a wolf-dog hybrid.
Just based on characteristics (ears, paws, tail) , I’ll take a stab in the dark and say wolf-coyote hybrid.
The definitive answer will of course be based on DNA and about $1.5M worth of lab time.

Spurt Reynolds

It’s a wolf-something!??!?

For $1,000,000 in un-needed lab fees, that is good enough for me. It’s dead!


No one would mistake a grizzly for a canid — the paws are totally different.

ed in texas

Lee has a point there. Bear prints are remarkably like a human print, except the big toes are to the outside, even if the claws don’t mark.
If you’re in the wild and pick what look like barefoot people tracks with the big toes on the outside of the print, a word to the wise: It’s a big bear, and they don’t much like being followed.


The cost and speed of DNA analysis has fallen dramatically, and the species’ issue can be decided in a week or two for a few hundred dollars.

Wolf-coyote-dog hybrids are very common, and the Eastern Coyote is one such. It is about 2/3 Western Coyote, 1/4 Canadian wolf and 1/10 large dog. They form packs, and are comfortable around people. It has been proposed that the Eastern Coyote be classified as a new species.

Every large city has a few packs living downtown. Prof. Gehrt at Ohio State says that some 2,000 live in Chicago, many downtown, especially near restaurants.

The Eastern Coyote appears to be filling the empty large predator niche east of the Mississippi. Hopefully, they will solve the white tail pest problem before turning to our pets and cattle.

Dick the Butcher

It could be a sign of the Apocalypse.

In 2017, a friend bagged an Eastern Coyote in upstate NY. I saw a pic on my phone. He is a big man and the pic was him standing holding the canid at length, Big animal.

Of course, urban coyotes live there because they are safe, “gun-free” zones and the Obama Youth are otherwise occupied shooting each other.

steve walsh

Dark coated Coywolf? We get them here in the northeast.


The eastern Coywolf are generally not that big. Of course this could be more wolf than coyote. A wolf-coy-wolf.


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